Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the world’s second richest person, said he will donate 85 percent of his stock in his company to charity according to news reports. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community,” will receive 80 percent of Buffett’s donation.
The New York Times estimates Buffett’s total charitable donation (based on the current stock price of Berkshire Hathaway) to be $37 billion, meaning the Gates Foundation will receive about $29.6 billion.
Kudos to Buffett (who’s renowned for not spending any of his vast wealth) for giving away so much money. But, while the Gates Foundation probably is one of the most effective charities working in international development, will it be able to use all of that money effectively? Or, as with Doctor’s Without Borders after the 2004 tsunami, will the large sum give the Gates Foundation more funds than it can use?
Of course, with Bill Gates set to leave Microsoft in 2008 to run the Gates Foundation full time, maybe Buffett made another wise investment.